The new details on the late CEO came from a speech given this week by Dag Kittlaus, one of the co-founders of Siri. Yoni Heisler of NetworkWorld was in attendance for the talk, and was informed that “Siri” is Norwegian for “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.”
“I worked with a lady named Siri in Norway and wanted to name my daughter Siri and the domain was available,” Kittlaus explained. “And also consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell, easy to say.”
Apple acquired Siri in April of 2010 for a rumored $200 million. The software was originally a free item on the iPhone App Store.
After the acquisition, Jobs wasn’t sold on the Siri name, but Kittlaus tried to convince the Apple co-founder otherwise. Though Jobs was apparently never fully satisfied with the product name, Kittlaus said he failed to come up with a superior option, so he stuck with “Siri.”
Kittlaus also revealed that he was unexpectedly summoned by Jobs to his Cupertino, Calif., home soon after the original Siri application launched on the App Store. There, Jobs had a three-hour chat with him by the fireplace about the future.
“(Apple is) patient — they don’t jump on anything until they feel they can go after something new, and he felt that we cracked it,” Kittlaus explained. “So that was his attraction (to Siri).”
Kittlaus eventually left Apple last October following the launch of the iPhone 4S, having served as CEO of Siri since 2007 and head of Apple’s speech recognition team since April of 2010. His departure from Apple was described as “amicable.”